Help chosing headphones for my taste
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Solude

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Finally really tired of being in debt and selling off main rig
No biggy headphones always annoy me since they cost so little and just wipe the floor with my main rig that costs tens of times more


Anyway my musical tastes tend to change often enough. Years ago I was a hard rock fan(megadeth, suicidal tendencies), then an alternative rock(pearl jam, garbage), then a 180 to jazz/blues(Steve Vaughn, Holly Cole), and now back to hard rock/alternative(system of a down, papa roach). Regardless of what I was listening to "the sound" I wanted has always been the same... High detail, no viel, natural, dynamic sound at LOW volumes. I literally play my 300LB main rig at 60dB which doesn't do it for me anymore, might never have. It sounds like what I described as the result I want at 80dB+ but it's fatiguing at that level for 12 hour sessions.

So excluding Senn HD580/600 what headphone/amp combos will give me what I want, at volumes I want? Limit on combo is $1000US and used is fine, heck preferred :p

Only reason I'd rather avoid Senn is the apparenly common cabling problem that reoccurs. In other words, I love my car but if I was in the shop every other month I sell it to the next fool instead of putting up with it when there are other cars that I'd likely enjoy just as much without the hassle of repairs. Granted this is from reading this board and reviews so maybe overblown and not as common as is written. Anyway let me know.

Solude
 
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Snufkin

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Well, it's probably not the most expensive combo around, but I'm loving my Beyer DT531 / MG Head DT combo.
If you're after a more 'natural' sound, perhaps a solid state amp would be more appropriate, but the MG Head is a very nice little beastie.
 
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Solude

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Where to?
Top please.
Okay hang on tight.
 
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Joe Bloggs

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eh? Excluding 580 / 600? What's your beef with them?

Oh, the cabling problems--I hear the new ones they make now don't have connection problems. I've had mine since last December and nothing ever went wrong. (which isn't saying much
) Just unplug them and clean the plugs and sockets with contact cleaner and the contacts should then last you as least as long as they lasted before starting to give you problems (usually years)

Have you listened to some headphones already? What do you think of them?

Based on your current descriptions I would think the Beyerdynamic DT931 may be your cup of tea, or perhaps some Grados. But your descriptions are relative--one person may call the HD580s veiled while another would call them very detailed, for example...
 
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BeeEss

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I've got the HD580's and Grado SR225's. I think the Grados blow the Senns out of the water on rock music. Based on what you are listening to and what I have experience with, that's what I would recommend. I'm driving the Grados with a Creek OBH-11 and the combo is okay; there are others here who have better amp recommendations for Grado (I don't recommend the MG Head, many have said that the Grado/MG Head combination is not good). I also prefer the Grados for acoustic/bluegrass, as I feel that they convey the music with a little more detail (not necessarily accuracy, but detail). Usually for instrumental jazz I will pick Grado and for vocal jazz I pick Senn. Blues is kind of a tossup, but I will generally go for the Grados there too. The SR225 is the only Grado I have heard, but I really like it--with your budget you may want to search for some opinions on some of the higher end models.
 
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Solude

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I used to have the $100 variety of Senns when I was using a midi drum kit and mixing to CDs. Granted it's not HD600 pricing but at the time I thought the Senn were typical british, recessed, dark and bottom heavy. I personally hate dark,dark sounds slow and unnatural to me. I've played violin, guitar, bass, drums and none were ever dark so dark really bugs me in a speaker/phone. Maybe the HD600 aren't I don't know, none here to try.

From reviews here, the phone likely to suit me is the AKG K-501. Seems to be described as airy, detailed, rolled lows. I.e. typical monitor sound that I really like for the music I listen to. Now I wonder if the Sony ES players phone jack is capable of driving them? It's rated at 12mW @ 10-300Ohm. Guess I'll find out then but an amp


Solude
 
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dngl

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The German senns really don't have intermittent connection problems often at all. I've had mine for almost four years now and my connection has been solid. With the cardas cable, they're detailed, punchy when called for, and, for your type of music, would excel with the distorted guitars. You can actually pick out individual harmonics. Then if you ever make another 180 and listen to classical (my favorite), you'll be able to appreciate the recording quality and timbre of the instruments as well as the brilliantly composed music.

The ES player jack will not power K501s. According to some people, only the max will. I think you'll be disappointed in the K501s for your rock, though you'd like them for your blues.
 
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Solude

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Hmm begs the question... will the ES jack power the Senns? Keeping in mind that I'm striving for 70dB levels.

Solude
 
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It's not the level, it's the quality... people have all sorts of complaints about the K501 (no bass, dry, etc. but NOT 'I can't hear these phones! They're too quiet!') and Team AKG always answers with 'you need a better amp!'


Do you remember what exactly was the Sennheiser model you tried? Hmm, anyway, if you can't remember, I'd say that the Senn HD580 / 600 *may* not be for you--but definitely audition if you have the chance.

The Grados have very prominent highs, punchy midbass and rolled off low bass.

The Beyerdynamic DT931 is 'like' the Senn HD580/600, except with no veil, i.e. same full-range capability as the 580/600, but with more prominent highs.

You decide.
 
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I think grado's would get uncomfortable for 12 hour listening sessions!

Biggie.
 
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...how much I like(d) the Stax 3030 system over in the "Headphone with good low-level detail retrieval" thread.

They are good at low SPLs, and comfy for extended sessions, except in hot muggy conditions, but what is comfy except many showers in hot muggy conditions?

cheerio...

WMS
 
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Nick Dangerous

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Grado RS-1 and Mapletree Ear+ or Melos SHA-1.

Bite the bullet and get the top of the line rock headphone with a synergistically matched amplifier. Buying everything used will get you under your target price.

'Twill make ye happy!
 
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